The Party Dazzlers

1970s, Alana Collins, Anne Turkel, biba, Blades, bus stop, corocraft, cosmopolitan, Dana Gillespie, Deirdre McSharry, edina ronay, Eva Reuber-Staier, Feathers, Fiona Lewis, Hildebrand, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, just men, mary quant, Nancy Bleier, norman eales, Peter Bubb, Peter Finley, platforms, polly peck, Sally McElvin, sandie shaw, Stephanie McLean, terry de havilland, Vintage Editorials, yves saint laurent
Dana Gillespie, the bosomy (43 in., actually) Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, is the most modest of party girls. At the show’s opening night party she turned up in her old gipsy skirt and a t-shirt, happily flashing her gold and jewelled snake rings. “Sometimes I feel like being outrageous – I just wish there were more parties to entice me out. When I was on my own I went to parties to see more people so I wouldn’t be on my own.” Alone only for the picture, Dana wears her snake collection, backed by a velvet dress and jewelled jacket, designed by her friend Sally McElvin. Pop designer Sally makes one-offs only, from £20.

In the words of Noel Coward, every girl ought to be able to say the morning after, “I’ve been to a mah-vellous party.” A little champagne does not go amiss, but this winter the clothes alone will put a gleam in your eye. There are enough sequins, crystal beads and glittering fabrics to guarantee you are the star attraction. To clinch the deal, I’ve asked some of the most stunning party girls around to give their definition of what constitutes a marvellous party and to put the most dazzling party frocks to the test…

Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by Norman Eales.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, December 1972.

Ann Turkel is the 5ft 10in. tall New Yorker who steals the limelight from the stars at film premieres, so parties are just kid’s stuff. “Parties? That’s when I know no other woman in the room can ‘top me’. I make a real effort – my mother has dresses made up specially in New York and ships them over – I never wear the same dress as any other woman. I know I’m a success when the photographers start crowding me. I like a man who appreciates when you are looking great.” Ann, who likes to move in a cloud of Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, comes on diamond bright in sequins and taffeta. Jacket by Biba £20. Red dress by Mary Quant £12.60.
Eva Reuber-Staier is the ex-Miss World turned TV personality who helped present BBC1’s Animal Stars. She’s cool, poised and gregarious. “I love parties, the kind with pretty girls and clever men. I prefer big parties; there’s more of a choice. I got to at least two parties per week.” The best one she says was given by some Cambidge dons. “Clever, but sexy with it, and could they dance!” Would she make the first move if she fancied a man at a party? “Fortunately I don’t have to.” Cleverly draped, sexy dress by John Bates for Jean Varon £36. Roses by Spectrum. Shoes by Terry de Havilland £13.99. Pop singer Gary Hamilton, star of Hair and several horror films says, “It’s the quiet girls who catch my eye.” Gary in satin trousers by Blades.
Alana Collins is tall, blonde and blue-eyed. “At parties back home in Nacogdoches, Texas, the boys used to call me the Duchess because I love to get dressed up. That was the original one-horse town, but in London I still like to cause a stir. There’s such a variety at parties – long and short hair. I go for the man who is paying total attention to one woman. And if you give him all yours, that clicks.” A lady who watches her strategy. Alana is the perfect Cosmo party girl in pink draped jersey by John Bates for Jean Varon £27. Sheos by Yves Saint Laurent £19.50.
Sandie Shaw sings for her supper. Her husband Jeff Banks, designs for his. United on most fronts, the Banks are divided on parties: “I hate them,” she says. “I love ’em,” he leers. Then they go on remember half a dozen great parties they’ve given including one in a char-a-banc to Southend; another on a river boat and a third at Madame Tussauds. “My idea of a good party is mostly fellas,” says Sandie, “but I don’t like him to look posh. The thing is, he loves me dressed up.” Dolled up for “that great party no one ever seems to give,” as Jeff says, is Sandie in a Banks special, suitably glittery in green and gold gauze. Sandie’s hair by Smiles. Jeff’s clothes by Blades.
Nancy Bleier, a bouncing brunette model import from Milwaukee, prefers her parties on the small size. “Just a few intimate friends, a quite dinner and dancing at Tramp or Annabel’s,” says Nancy who keeps her party figure by taking modern dance lessons. Nancy makes her eyes up like Sophia Loren, wears a lot of scent and generally sticks to trousers at parties. “My French boyfriend says: ‘Darling why don’t you ever wear a dress?’ He offered to buy me one – but never did.” Not downcast, Nancy dresses up for Swiss model Reto in a 1000 watt lime glitter outfit from Biba, top £14, skirt £15.25. Reto’s dinner suit from Just Men, £45.
Edina Ronay, the actress and model says: “A good party is when Warren Beatty murmers ‘call me tomorrow’. Actually the best parties are the ones I give myself – straight and freaky, champagne and – uh – cakes. The people look at each other and enjoy the difference. What happens afterwards – that’s what counts about parties.” Edina, who had her hair hennaed in Morocco, gets ready for her Christmas party in crushed pink velvet and feathers. Dress by Biba £15, boa and ‘diamond’ ring by Bus Stop, £6.50 and £1.95. Robert wears sequined jacket by Dior and ruffled shirt by Just Men.
Stephanie McLean, at 5ft 10in., is the kind of status blonde most men hope to meet at parties. And it was at a party where her husband, a photographer who specialises in nudes, met her. Says Stephanie, “Now when we go to parties we separate – otherwise why bother to go out at all? – but I keep my eye on him. I prefer relaxed, informal parties and almost always wear jeans. Sometimes I get dressed up and he says ‘you look fantatic, we’ll go out.'” Looking dressed up in a glittery silver and black taffeta dress by Polly Peck £12.85. Peter Finley the model who prefers parties for two, wears black satin trousers from Blades.
Film actress Fiona Lewis has the sophisticated face of the Seventies, so it’s not surprising that her idea of a party is simple – and expensive. “Lots of drinks and lots of people, never punch which is a bore and bad for your digestion. Simple things like smoked salmon and chilled white wine are best. And I prefer to wear fantasy clothes which I run up myself from scarves. I ask dishy men and tell them to bring their friends.” Fiona adds her own glitter to a black and white taffeta halter dress, Hildebrand about £18.50 and also a floating red chiffon dress aove right, at Feathers £25. Peter Bubb the model wears velvet dinner jacket by Just Men £35.

Autumn’s Prettiest Silhouettes

19 magazine, 1970s, Colin Glascoe, frederick starke, Gina Fratini, Ginger Group, Inspirational Images, liberty, liberty's, mary quant, polly peck, Vintage Adverts, wallis

wool advert sept 70 b

Left to right: Berkertex, Mary Quant for Ginger Group, Clothes at Colin Glascoe, Gina Fratini, Frederick Starke, Polly Peck.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, September 1970.

 

wool advert sept 70 a

All clothes by Wallis.

Easy Party Pieces

1970s, annacat, Anne Tyrrell, Baltrik, Courchevel, flair magazine, harriet, Inspirational Images, John Carter, Juliet Dunn, Ken Lane, mary quant, polly peck, Russell & Bromley, thea porter, Vintage Editorials, wallis

easy party pieces 9

Satin crepe de chine tie neck dress and chequered over jacket by Anne Tyrrell at John Marks. Suede shoes by Mondaine.

When it comes to dressing up tonight there’s no such thing as a party line. Redheads come into their own with sleek Garboesque hairdos to set off shiny battledress tops and trousers. Jazzily printed crepe de chine dresses and jackets mix with jersey and velvet, softly innocent or dangerously backless and halternecked. Diamante remains the vital accessory – shining in the hair as well as sprinkled on bodices. The choice is yours and glamour the mood.

Photographed by John Carter.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Flair, December 1971

easy party pieces 1

Cream jersey top and matching skirt by Mary Quant

easy party pieces 2

Both dresses by Harriet

easy party pieces 3

Liberty print cotton blouses and skirts, both by Courchevel. Choker by Ken Lane. Suede bar shoes by Russell & Bromley.

easy party pieces 4

Pleated cotton voile horseman print dress by Thea Porter. Gilt and mock turquoise belt by Ken Lane.

easy party pieces 5

Left: Dress by Reflections at Reldan. Right: Jersey dress by Baltrik.

easy party pieces 6

Left: Ban-lon halterneck dress by Wallis. Right: Brown crepe de chine dress by Annacat.

easy party pieces 7

Black jersey dress by Polly Peck. Inset: Jersey dress by Baltrik. Shoes by Russell & Bromley.

easy party pieces 8

Black satin battledress jacket and trousers by Juliet Dunn.

easy party pieces 10

Grey and red short wooly jackets by Elgee.

easy party pieces 11

Fringed black shawl from Emmerton and Lambert.

easy party pieces 12

Grey wool flannel full length cape by Christopher McDonnell for Marrian-McDonnell.

Inspirational Images: Voila! La pièce de résistance!

1970s, Adrian Mann, Bernshaw, biba, british boutique movement, celia birtwell, cosmopolitan, David Collings, David Warbeck, Eva Sereny, gordon king, Hilary Floyd, Inspirational Images, John Michael, Larrio, Martin Potter, Michael Petrovitch, Michaeljohn, mitzi lorenz, ossie clark, Patrick Mower, Penny Graham, polly peck, Renate Zatsch, Sam Wright, Turnbull & Asser, Vintage Editorials

Often the best parties are just for two, so make it an evening to remember. Jenny gets star treatment from Martin Potter, a Shakespearian actor whose sensational looks are making him new audiences. His ideal party: "There'd be just the two of us and it would last a month. We'd hide out in a mountain retreat. Heavy snowfalls would cut us completely off from the rest of the world. And if the telephone packed up, even better." Jenny looks the part in a slink of a dress from Polly Peck, £12-35. Heavy gilt choker and perspex bangle from Adrien Mann.

Often the best parties are just for two, so make it an evening to remember. Jenny gets star treatment from Martin Potter, a Shakespearian actor whose sensational looks are making him new audiences. His ideal party: “There’d be just the two of us and it would last a month. We’d hide out in a mountain retreat. Heavy snowfalls would cut us completely off from the rest of the world. And if the telephone packed up, even better.” Jenny looks the part in a slink of a dress from Polly Peck, £12-35. Heavy gilt choker and perspex bangle from Adrien Mann.

Like the telly bank manager in the cupboard, every girl ought to keep one in her wardrobe … a rigout that makes a girl look great, feel high and draws every man to her side, irresistibly. After your winter fur your most useful investment ought to be one such stunning outfit … la piece de resistance. If it gives you that gilt-edged feeling of security that a proper party frock should, you will be glad to wear it again and again … who cares about being seen twice or even one dozen times in the same outfit … so long as you know you look your absolute best. Cosmo asked eight beautiful and busy models to choose and wear the most stunning party clothes around. And then we invited eight dishy men with great personalities to join them and give their reactions. We brought out the Champagne .. . and the pictures tell the rest of the story. Vive la difference!

Fashion by Penny Graham. Photographed by Eva Sereny.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, December 1973

This editorial is like honey to me. The men, the clothes, the men’s clothes…

Patrick Mower, one of TV's best dressed men and more often seen playing tough, hard-hitting Detective Inspector Haggerty in Special Branch, closes in on Caroline. Patrick is a great one for big parties: "I case the room and meet whoever I fancy. Everyone should look great and be in a good mood. If they're not they can go home." Caroline luckily suits all demands in a tie-topped blouse and long skirt by Ossie Clark for Radley, £30.

Patrick Mower, one of TV’s best dressed men and more often seen playing tough, hard-hitting Detective Inspector Haggerty in Special Branch, closes in on Caroline. Patrick is a great one for big parties: “I case the room and meet whoever I fancy. Everyone should look great and be in a good mood. If they’re not they can go home.” Caroline luckily suits all demands in a tie-topped blouse and long skirt by Ossie Clark for Radley, £30.

Put on your most sexy dress—something nice and bare that shows a lot. David Collings, bearded for his part in Ken Russell's Mahler, approves of girls who get "all dolled up". He likes throwing instant parties: "Italian food, loads of wine, lots of talk. I then just let things happen. Surprises are always fun." Jane provides just the right degree of suspense in a slashed to the waist dress by Bernshaw, £19.

Put on your most sexy dress—something nice and bare that shows a lot. David Collings, bearded for his part in Ken Russell’s Mahler, approves of girls who get “all dolled up”. He likes throwing instant parties: “Italian food, loads of wine, lots of talk. I then just let things happen. Surprises are always fun.” Jane provides just the right degree of suspense in a slashed to the waist dress by Bernshaw, £19.

Invited to a dressy dinner party? Wear a simple slither of a little black dress that emphasises all your good points. Michael Petrovitch, a tall, broody looking actor, starring in Wet Stuff with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland, loves small parties "Where the food's delicious, the conversation good and the woman beside me a marvellous listener. If she's dark and exotic looking—fantastic." Carole fits the role perfectly in a skimmy voile and Lurex dress by Ossie Clark for Radley, £30. Gilt bangle, ring, from a selection at Adrien Mann.

Invited to a dressy dinner party? Wear a simple slither of a little black dress that emphasises all your good points. Michael Petrovitch, a tall, broody looking actor, starring in Wet Stuff with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland, loves small parties “Where the food’s delicious, the conversation good and the woman beside me a marvellous listener. If she’s dark and exotic looking—fantastic.” Carole fits the role perfectly in a skimmy voile and Lurex dress by Ossie Clark for Radley, £30. Gilt bangle, ring, from a selection at Adrien Mann.

If your man is the host, you'd better look great. David Warbeck, actor and model, is a great cook, and likes his hostess to shine. "I do exotic things like pheasants in honey. I serve several courses so dinner lasts about three hours, but I ask people to swap seats . . . then they can really get to know each other." Greta glows in a dress with a cutaway back, Bemshaw, , £13.50; choker and bangle from Adrien Mann.

If your man is the host, you’d better look great. David Warbeck, actor and model, is a great cook, and likes his hostess to shine. “I do exotic things like pheasants in honey. I serve several courses so dinner lasts about three hours, but I ask people to swap seats . . . then they can really get to know each other.” Greta glows in a dress with a cutaway back, Bemshaw, , £13.50; choker and bangle from Adrien Mann.

Be the toast of the party in a dress with a deep neckline and a cutaway back. Gary Bond, lead in Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is bowled over by blonde Birgitta. "I love girls who laugh at my jokes. If they're all dolled up and smelling delicious I'm their slave. I get very nervous at big parties so when I find a girl I whisk her off to the kitchen. It's the quietest place: we can sit down and get to know each other." Birgitta's dress is by Hilary Floyd, £23. For that extra flirty film star touch, a matching ostrich boa from Mitzi Lorenz, £11.

Be the toast of the party in a dress with a deep neckline and a cutaway back. Gary Bond, lead in Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is bowled over by blonde Birgitta. “I love girls who laugh at my jokes. If they’re all dolled up and smelling delicious I’m their slave. I get very nervous at big parties so when I find a girl I whisk her off to the kitchen. It’s the quietest place: we can sit down and get to know each other.” Birgitta’s dress is by Hilary Floyd, £23. For that extra flirty film star touch, a matching ostrich boa from Mitzi Lorenz, £11.

Turn him on. This winter's most glamorous party vest has that 1000 watt gleam. Larrio, the six foot four dancer at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, is electrified by Jan. "Give me lots of pretty girls, lock the door and let me get at them! I really dig dancing the night away. If I give a party I like it to go on for nights and days." Jan's high-voltage sequin vest is from Biba,£11.45 ; pants, £10, from Gordon King. Earrings from Adrien Mann. Larrio's silk shirt from a selection at Browns.

Turn him on. This winter’s most glamorous party vest has that 1000 watt gleam. Larrio, the six foot four dancer at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, is electrified by Jan. “Give me lots of pretty girls, lock the door and let me get at them! I really dig dancing the night away. If I give a party I like it to go on for nights and days.” Jan’s high-voltage sequin vest is from Biba,£11.45 ; pants, £10, from Gordon King. Earrings from Adrien Mann. Larrio’s silk shirt from a selection at Browns.

Wear a tinsel jacket—and look like the best-wrapped package in the room. Sam Wright flashes across the stage nightly in Two Gentlemen of Verona but is here brought to a halt by Renate. "Parties are very sensual things to me," says Sam. "I lie around on big cushions listening to Beethoven or sitar music. The night should just drift away. I like my guests to feel free to do whatever they like." Renate's jacket, £13.35, velvet trousers, £14.40, both by Polly Peck. Bangle, earrings, from a selection at Adrien Mann. All men's shirts from Turnbull & Asser ; trousers, velvet suits by John Michael. Make-up by Bonnie for Charles of the Ritz. Party hairstyles by David at Michaeljohn. Christmas trees and decorations from Harrods.

Wear a tinsel jacket—and look like the best-wrapped package in the room. Sam Wright flashes across the stage nightly in Two Gentlemen of Verona but is here brought to a halt by Renate. “Parties are very sensual things to me,” says Sam. “I lie around on big cushions listening to Beethoven or sitar music. The night should just drift away. I like my guests to feel free to do whatever they like.” Renate’s jacket, £13.35, velvet trousers, £14.40, both by Polly Peck. Bangle, earrings, from a selection at Adrien Mann. All men’s shirts from Turnbull & Asser ; trousers, velvet suits by John Michael. Make-up by Bonnie for Charles of the Ritz. Party hairstyles by David at Michaeljohn. Christmas trees and decorations from Harrods.

Hot and Cold, Wet and Dry

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, chelsea girl, jean varon, john bates, laura ashley, lee bender, ossie clark, polly peck, website listings

The Chelsea Cobbler 1970s embroidered wedges

Ahhhh. British Summertime. For those of you NOT currently experiencing one of the most spectacularly soggy summers this land has seen in recent years, have pity on us. It is quite unsettling to be reaching for your autumn coat in almost-mid-July. It’s also unsettling to have received an adorable gingham umbrella from your mum as a birthday present and to have been using it almost constantly since then. I’m a July baby, it’s not meant to be this way!!!!!

It’s also hard to get oneself into the listing groove when your head is saying ‘summer dresses’ ‘light cottons’ etc, but you take one look out of the window at the river your street has become and think ‘err, actually, maybe not….’.

So here is my ever-so-British mixed bag of new listings. I do hope you enjoy!

Ossie Clark 1970s moss crepe and satin dress

John Bates for Jean Varon ‘Venice’ dress c. 1966-67

Early Laura Ashley art nouveau print maxi dress

Lee Bender for Bus Stop dress w/ keyhole feature

Polly Peck by Sybil Zelker 1970s medieval influenced dress

Fifties-influenced Chelsea Girl cotton stripe blouse

Inspirational Illustrations: The Ginchiest

1960s, Illustrations, polly peck, psychedelia, Vintage Adverts, Woman's Own

Scanned from Woman’s Own, October 22nd 1966

Ok, cats, I’m going to willingly lose cool points and confess that I had to look up what the hell ‘Ginchiest‘ means. (There’s even a song.) I can’t always immediately ‘get’ this kind of groovy talk. It was hard enough watching Beat Girl, daddy-o…

The New Avenger in Lee Bender

annacat, bus stop, chelsea girl, harold ingram, jean varon, joanna lumley, lee bender, murray arbeid, norman hartnell, polly peck, terry de havilland, the avengers, website listings

I have just listed some stunning new pieces over at Vintage-a-Peel, but the real star of the show has got to be this incredible Lee Bender for Bus Stop skirt and halter top set. For it is identical to the one worn by Joanna Lumley in a photocall for The New Avengers in 1976. Deliciously bright and saucy, and the one thing which might distract the world from your pudding-bowl haircut!

Photos and links to other newly listed items follow underneath…

Late Sixties cord jacket (click to view listing)

Murray Arbeid 1980s turquoise cocktail dress (click to view listing)

Terry de Havilland 1970s gold glitter shoes (click to view listing)

Norman Hartnell early 1960s chiffon and soutache evening gown (click to view listing)

Annacat 1960s blue velvet jacket (click to view listing)

Harold Ingram 1970s knitted top (click to view listing)

Polly Peck 1960s white cotton blouse (click to view listing)

Chelsea Girl 1970s stripe jumper (click to view listing)

Tom Bowker for Jean Varon 1970s silver lamé top (click to view listing)

We’re Not Going Away This Year

1960s, alice pollock, harriet, helmut newton, polly peck, Queen magazine, quorum

Black ciré jumpsuit (£14 12s) by Harriet

So instead of getting into a frenzy of bikinis I’ve been able to concentrate on the way to look this autumn. Black and rather Dietrich. Masses of sequins; velvet, chiffon, moiré. And shiny, slinky ciré, like satin come out from under a shower. To wear this black sheer tights; to spark up with silver, jet and diamond.

Incredible shoot from Queen, August 1969. Photos by Helmut Newton

Culottes and matching jacket (27gns) by Alice Pollock at Quorum.

Black moiré suit and white moss crepe cravat (£19 13s) by Sybil Zelker for Polly Peck

Sequined skirt (£19 13s) and chiffon shirt (£7 12s) by Sybil Zelker for Polly Peck

Ciré dress (£12 13s) by Harriet

I like you verrrrrrry much

annacat, british boutique movement, clobber, janice wainwright, jeff banks, joy stevens, mary quant, miss mouse, pam hogg, polly peck, rae spencer cullen, simon massey, website listings

Please excuse the daft title. This amazing Annacat dress is so brilliant and ruffled and exotic it can’t help but make me think of the divine Ms. Carmen Miranda. Not that it will immediately make you look like her, I hasten to add, unless you wear some fruit on top of your head. Although you may wish to, and I would certainly applaud you if you did. Anyway, here’s my occasional blog about some new listings of mine. There’s the aforementioned Annacat, a Jeff Banks for Clobber dress, Ann Reeves & Co, Pam Hogg, Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey, Miss Mouse, Joy Stevens, Polly Peck, Kati at Laura Phillips, Paraphernalia, Mary Quant, Petals and Concept by Samuel Sherman. Phewwwww. That’s a lot of gear.

Shameless

david silverman, harold ingram, jean varon, john bates, polly peck, radley, wallis, website listings
John Bates for Jean Varon
Yes dear readers, tis that time again. Time for shameless self-promotion (which is basically the point of a blog, right?) and to show you what’s new at Vintage-a-Peel this week. We gots John Bates for Jean Varon (a recorded piece, no less…), Radley, Wallis, Polly Peck, Harold Ingram and David Silverman. Names aside, they’re all beautiful pieces and I want them to go to appreciative new homes (i.e to all of you dear readers). Please do go and check them out at www.vintage-a-peel.co.uk

David Silverman
Wallis
Harold Ingram
Radley of London

Polly Peck by Sybil Zelker